Hostetler's Barber Shop
228 Rear East Main Street Ext.
Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until noon Saturday.
Number of years in business: 27 years.
Owner: Debi Hostetler Durr
Family: I have been married to my husband Steve for 24 years. We have 3 children — Tristen, 21, Caitlin, 17 and Jarrett, 15. We have one grandbaby, Lillian.
Number of employees: No employees, but partner Becky Hostetler has been with me for 24 years. Becky and I met at Coshocton Career Center while in the Cosmetology Program, and we both attended the Ohio Sate Barber College in Reynoldsburg. Becky joined me in the shop after I got married so that I could be home more as my husband and I started our family. This business would not be what it is today without her.
How would you describe a typical day at Hostetler’s Barber Shop? We only take walk-ins, so on any given day you don't know what your day will be like. But every day is interesting!
What’s the best thing about being a local business owner? Knowing a lot of people around town.
What’s the biggest challenge of owning your own business? The ability to afford health insurance.
On average, how many haircuts take place in a day? Some days too many, some days just enough.
What’s something you think that people would be surprised to know about Hostetler’s Barber Shop? I was only 19 when I bought the shop and that Becky and I have been best friends since we were 17.
Who or what influenced you to go into the business? When I was growing up my Grandma lived above Bob's Barber Shop on Third Street in Coshocton. I used to go down to the barber shop and spend time looking at magazines and listening and watching the customers. Bob would always give me a sucker and let me use the phone to call my Dad. I have the barber pole from his shop hanging in my shop. My Dad, Harlan Hostetler, was a great help and encouragement, always supporting me. I was just out of barber school when I bought the shop, so my Dad was generous enough to help me get started. I was so broke he had to lend me money so I could have change in the drawer.
Gene and Mary Lou Poland presented me with this opportunity. I bought the shop from Gene. He operated Poland's Barber Shop for over 50 years. Gene spent countless hours with me in the shop, teaching me from his 50 years of experience ... everything from flat tops, to bookkeeping, to how to deal with customers. Mary Lou also taught me many life lessons and they both called me their kid and treated me as such. I believe Gene never considered selling his shop — his life's work to a 19-year-old woman — but like he told me "Mary Lou says I have to give you a chance." And I'm so grateful he did.
You talk with a lot of your clients while they are getting their hair cut. Do you ever feel like a therapist in a way? Oh yes ... and a priest, marriage counselor, doctor, lawyer. People share a lot and confide in you when they know you care and are interested in what they are going through. And sometimes my customers are those things for me.
During the years that you have been cutting hair, has there been a fad or trend you wish never happened? I absolutely hated the bowl cut!
What is the biggest tip anyone has ever received from a customer? $20 and some really nice Longaberger Baskets.
COMPILED BY JOE WRIGHT